Caterham and Marussia unlikely to race in 2015
Hopes are fading for the perennial backmarkers as Marussia have their assets stripped and Caterham fail to find a buyer
The chances of the Marussia and Caterham teams making it onto the Formula 1 grid in 2015 are reducing by the day. As F1 Racing went to press, both were expressing hope that they would be able to compete, but obstacles to their return are mounting rapidly.
The assets of the Marussia team have been sold by administrators in a series of auctions. The rst two webcast auctions included car parts, wheels and memorabilia, while the third included computers and infrastructure equipment. However, the 2014 cars were left out of those auctions, to give the team longer to try to put together a rescue package. Both cars were due to be sold shortly after this issue of F1 Racing closed for press.
Caterham’s administrators say they are still in talks with three interested buyers, but the longer the situation drags on without a deal being completed, the less likely it is to happen.
To join the grid at the rst race of the year in Melbourne on 15 March, Caterham and Marussia need the other teams to agree to let them run 2014 cars and engines – no design or building work has been done at either team since October, when the employees were all laid off. Caterham’s were hired back on a one-off basis for the nal race of 2014 in Abu Dhabi.
In theory, a team cannot run a 2014 car in 2015 because of the new nose regulations. However, an exemption for Caterham and Marussia was proposed and raised no objections at a meeting of the rule-making Strategy Group after the end of last season.
It was not voted on at the subsequent meeting of the sport’s legislative body, the World Motor Sport Council. However, since there were no objections from the Strategy Group, it could be passed by a fax vote at a later date.
Meanwhile, the surviving teams have been debating what could happen to the £37.5million prize money owed to Marussia and Caterham should they not survive. There was a proposal that this should be split between the bottom three teams in the 2014 championship, but no agreement was reached.